Operating a dental practice is hard work, especially when we first start out. We have competition from corporate practices. We have complexities from insurance companies. We have teams to lead, expenses to pay, and so much more. By the end of the money, many dentists are exhausted. Some make barely enough profits to scrape by.
What if there were a better way? What if there is a simple shift you can make in your practice to be able to make more money in less time? There is. I made this shift in my practice and it has been life-changing for me and my patients.
I sat down with Dr. Paul Homoly to discuss this simple shift and how to implement it. Here is what he shared with me. If you want to listen to the entire interview and get help implementing it, you can find that here.
The Simple Shift to Make More Money in Less Time
When we first get started in practice, it is natural to build a practice that focuses on treating simple care patients. It helps us work on our craft and mature in the practice of dentistry.
Some practitioners stick with that their entire career. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is a hard way to practice. You often have to compete against the big corporate practices. You often compete based on price. And you get stuck dealing with insurance companies.
The only way to make more money is to serve more patients. You need to work more or expand your team. Either way, you grow by adding more to your plate from a patient-care or leadership perspective.
The best way to avoid having to spend your entire career working way too hard for way too little money is to shift how you practice. One of the simplest shifts you can make to earn more money in less time is to serve more complex care patients.
The obvious benefit of serving complex care patients is you reduce or eliminate many of the problems with operating a simple care practice. You have less competition. You can charge higher fees. And you often have much less insurance involvement. In short, you can make more money in less time. Not only that, but the care you provide makes a much bigger impact on people’s lives. You start to perform life-changing treatments on people and transform people’s smiles. It is truly the best of both worlds. You make more money by performing life-changing dentistry on fewer people.
How to Shift to Serving More Complex Care Patients
It takes two things to start serving more complex care patients. The first thing you need to do is to learn how to perform complex care procedures. The second things you need to do is to learn how to actually close complex care cases.
Many dentists are comfortable learning how to perform complex care procedures. We have learned and practiced our craft since dental school. We take CE courses to continue to refine and expand our clinical skills. And we have many options for learning how to perform complex care procedures.
According to Dr. Homoly, case acceptance is the big thing keeping dentists from serving more complex care patients. The reason for this, according to Dr. Homoly, is the way we have been taught to present treatment plans. Dr. Homoly suggests to be successful closing more complex care cases, we have to shift from making case presentations to having case conversations.
How to Close Complex Care Cases
Closing complex cases requires you to understand two things, according to Dr. Homoly. First, you need to understand what behavioral benefit they are looking for. Why do they want to get their tooth fixed? How will it benefit them in their day-to-day life? Second, you need to understand how that dental care fits into their life. Where does the behavioral benefit rank among all the things going on in their life? Do they have two kids entering college? If so, they might dedicate all their financial resources to that. Are they in sales? If so, they might want to be more confident during their sales pitches, knowing their confidence can help them close more sales.
Learning those two things requires you to have conversations with your patients. It requires you to ask about their personal lives.
Only after you know the behavioral benefit they are looking for and how their care fits into their life can you have an effective case conversation to close more cases.
How to Conduct a Case Conversation
Dr. Homoly has been a mentor of mine for quite some time. He has taught me many skills to improve my practice. One of those things was how to have a case conversation.
For example, I had a patient come in who had a dark tooth in his mouth. I knew he was in sales and that many people were self-conscious about dark teeth, so I decided to check the two things Dr. Homoly teaches: the behavioral benefit he was looking for, and how fixing the dark tooth fit into his life.
I first asked him what brought him into the office and what was on his mind. At first, he gave the standard “checkup and a cleaning” answer. But I continued, asking what he does in sales and how he feels about his smile when he meets people.
When I asked that question, he got quiet and said he is constantly wondering if people are looking at his dark tooth when he is in meetings. That gave me answer to both Dr. Homoly’s questions. Specifically, fixing his tooth would help him stop worrying during sales meetings, which could free him up to close more sales.
That gave me the opportunity to connect with him on a more personal level. I said, “How would you feel about not having to worry about that tooth when you go to these meetings?”
He said he would love it. By the end of the appointment, he decided to move forward with veneers so he would not have to worry about that tooth anymore. That was not even why he was in my office. But we connected on a deeper level, and I got the opportunity to help him transform his smile and get rid of something that had been bothering him for years.
Are you ready to make more money in less time?
If you are sick of struggling in your practice, closing more complex cases could be the answer. Watch my full interview with Dr. Homoly to learn how to do that. You can even score a Nifty Thrifty deal if you want to get trained by Dr. Homoly himself.